10 things you need to know about Lupita Nyong’o

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She was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “12 Years a Slave.” Her role as Patsey, the abused house slave with naive hopes of freedom, won most major critics’ awards, and placed her at the top of her game in Hollywood. She became a household name overnight.

Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Lupita Nyong’o. Her multi-cultural heritage Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents of the Luo communihty (also President Obama’s people). Her first name is traditionally Mexican, and her surname is very rare in Kenya. Her father, Peter Anyang Nyong’o, a politician — and now a member of the Kenyan parliament — at one time sought refuge in Mexico. When it was safe to return, he took the family back to Kenya.

Lupita was raised in Nairobi. Her ‘Constant Gardener’ resumé Remember that Oscar-winning 2004 film with Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz? Lupita was visiting family friends outside of Nairobi, and stumbled serendipitously into the film set. Days later, she was hired as Fiennes’ runner. When he inquired about her future prospects and she timidly said she wanted to act, he gave her advice to carry her into her successful future: “Lupita, only act if you can’t breathe without it.”

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